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Battle for the Belt: Episode 20

Episode 20 of Battle for the Belt is now available:

In Episode 20, we get a weather update from Aaron Wilson. (Aaron’s written update is included in a separate article of this week’s CORN newsletter.) We also talk with Luke Waltz, a PhD student in the Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering. Luke leads the remote sensing and soil sensor data collection aspects of the Battle for the Belt project. Sensors have been installed at all three Battle for the Belt locations in both the corn and soybean field areas. The soil sensors are from Meter Group and include Teros 12 (soil water content, electrical conductivity, and soil temperature), Teros 11 (soil water content and soil temperature), and Teros 21 (matric potential). Additional aboveground sensors include an Apogee SQ-521 photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) sensor and an ATMOS 14 weather sensor, collecting temperature and relative humidity in the canopy. The sensors plug into a solar-powered ZL6 logger which sends the data over a cellular connection to Meter’s Zentra cloud application. The three research locations (Northwest, Western, and Wooster) all have very different soil textures with respect to clay, silt, and sand content as well as different amounts of organic matter. We’re interested in using these soil and weather sensors to understand how different soil types and weather conditions can affect important crop inputs such as plant available water and ultimately yield.

Figure 1. Pictured left, planting date one at the Western Research Station. Pictured right, planting date three at the Western Research Station. Both of these are early maturing hybrids at 100 and 107 day.Battle For the Belt Location Updates

Every location progressed this past week with maximum air temperatures staying around 86°F (Table 1). Temperatures higher than 86°F slow down crop growth, especially if there is not much moisture. According to our growing degree days, three of our five planting dates at Western and Northwest are in reproductive stages.

At the Wooster location, for corn, planting date one has started to silk, while planting date 2 is at V12/V13, planting date three at V14/15, planting date four at V9, and planting date five at V6. For soybeans the stages of planting date one, two, three, four, and five are as follows: R2, R2, R2, V11, and V3. At this location throughout the season planting date three has continued to have the best canopy coverage and uniformity.

At the Western location, for corn, planting date one is fully pollinated and at R2. The silks are red and drying down. There was very low disease pressure during tassel and silking, so a fungicide application was not necessary. Planting date two, three, four, and five stages are R1, V16, V13, and V8. The soybeans stages for planting date one, two, three, four, and five are as follows: R4, R2, R2, R1, and V4. Planting date one is putting on pods, while planting date two, three, and four are all flowering. Planting date four has not fully canopied yet, however, vegetative growth does not stop during reproductive growth, so planting date four could still have a full canopy.

Table 1. The planting date one, two, three, four and five in the trial at all three locations with day of planting, soil, air temperature averages, and Growing Degree Days (GDDS). Information from CFAES Weather System,
As a recap, this research project includes five planting date windows, 1) Ultra early = late March to early April; 2) Early = mid to late April; 3) Normal = early to mid-May; 4) Late = late May-first week of June; and 5) Very late = mid to late June. 

Keep following the ‘Battle for the Belt’ this growing season to learn more and get further updates! You can  find the full video playlist of Battle for the Belt on the Ohio State Agronomy YouTube channel.

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.